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How to Gain Muscle Mass Without Protein Supplements

There’s a lot of hype around protein supplements especially if you’re looking to build and gain muscle. While extra protein is needed in your diet if you’re looking to get muscular, it’s easy to get the necessary protein from the way you eat. Keep in mind though, nutrition is only part of the equation for muscle building. You’ll need to have some sort of resistance training and break days to allow your muscles time to heal. Many people like to supplement their diet with multivitamins to help maintain muscle mass. Check out the best men’s multivitamin supplements buyers guide here!

But what if you want to build muscle without taking protein supplements or protein powder? The good news is that you can gain muscle without these products. It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done.

Keep in mind that it will be inefficient, your muscles won’t recover from workouts as fast, and your body might not feel too hot for a bit.

How the Body Makes Muscle

Protein is required to build and repair muscle tissue. Protein is something that needs to be used as its ingested. It’s not something that can be stored for later use. When protein is ingested, your body gets a little burst of activity that helps build muscle. How much muscle your body builds can all depend on how much protein you’re eating at each of your meals. Eat a little bit of protein and build muscle. Eat a little more and gain some more.

The Best Time to Get Your Protein In

On average, protein intake is a tad under 90 grams daily. However, we eat over 2/3 of that at supper time, while breakfast or lunch is usually lower. This means that despite getting in plenty of protein throughout the day, most of us are reaching our limit for building muscle once daily.

Simply put, you should eat less protein with dinner and adding in more to your breakfast meal. Some people like to eat chicken or salmon for breakfast to get adequate protein intake.

Muscle Loss

A lot of people don’t appreciate their muscles. Meaning they take them for granted at times. Even doctors don’t pay much attention to muscles. You won’t find many specialties that claim muscles as the body organ they deal with. But, to live an active lifestyle your muscles need to be healthy.

Over time, muscle tissue begins to wear down. This is often referred to as sarcopenia and it tends to affect middle-aged people. Developing certain types of illnesses and diseases can wear down your muscle mass as well. This is referred to as cachexia, and it typically affects patients who have cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.

Preventing any type of disease is difficult as is preventing getting old. You can, however, prevent the primary culprit of muscle loss, and that is inactivity. Living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to atrophy in as little as months and staying in the hospital can cause this in a matter of days.

Being inactive changes the processes of the body. For instance, being inactive decreases certain muscle proteins such as optic protein 1 and OPA1. Animals who have an insufficient amount of OPA1 age a lot quicker and die at a young age. Being sedentary decreases this OPA1 which causes a metabolic alteration. With this change, you increase our risk of developing chronic illnesses such as obesity and diabetes.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking to gain muscle and cut down on protein supplements.


As you might know, muscle tissues are protein-dense. This means you need to include insufficient amounts of the nutrient to help with the increased muscle mass. Eating just 1 gram of protein, which should contain all amino acids the body needs, for each kg you weigh offers necessary building blocks that help improve the muscle-to-fat ratio.

Whole foods are usually a better source of protein as opposed to protein powder. That’s because the wide variety of foods rich in protein you can choose from will also provide you with vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, and carbohydrates. Your body must have these for general maintenance, and your workout routine.


To become muscular, you need to get some strength training into your workout sessions. When you push your body through progressive overload, muscle grows. As you do this, muscle fibers become torn, and it’s the repairing of your damaged muscles and rebuilding of these fibers to become stronger with the help of whole-food sources of protein- that increases muscles.

At the minimum, you should aim for 2 head-to-toe workout sessions every week. Make sure they include between 8 and 12 reps of at least 10 or more exercises. Working your larger muscle groups before the smaller ones can enhance your overall gain by letting you exercise larger muscles intensely before you begin to experience fatigue. Balance boards are a great way to get a workout in without working out too intensely. Check out the best balance boards here!


Through your workout routines, you put your body through a lot and cause damage to it. Because of this, your muscles need time to recover and rest. While you’re having break days, any protein you eat from meat, plant proteins, and milk products help to replenish muscle fibers that have been injured.

Each group of muscles that you work on should have a day or two of rest before working them again. By eating whole foods rather than a supplement can ensure you get the right amount of protein as well as vitamins and minerals the body needs to replace the glycogen supply that’s spent.

Use Sports

There are other things you can do besides working out in the gym. Sports can have many psychosocial advantages and can increase your fitness level. Psychosocial benefits can include making you feel certain feelings such as fidelity and solidarity. These two feelings help motivate people to get involved and participate which in turn increases adherence.

There was an article published in 2014 in a Scandinavian Journal on Science and Medicine in Sports that looked at how playing soccer would impact the muscle mass of people who were homeless.

Those who participated played soccer 2 times a week for a total of 12 weeks. There was an attendance rate of 75%. When compared with baselines, recreational games showed an increase of 1.6% in mass that was fat-free. Postural balance and even bone density were also increased.

Consider Using Mechanical Devices

There are several mechanical devices such as vibration machines and folding treadmills that have become more and more available. There are positive effects to your health with use. For instance, a review made in 2019 found by Supportive Care in Cancer found that vibration therapy can help children who struggle with disabilities and forms of cancer enhance their overall fitness levels.

These findings suggest utilizing vibration for an all-over body use can help build muscle mass without the use of protein supplements. However, there hasn’t been enough research done to know what settings should be used for the most beneficial outcome.

A report found in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning took a closer look at high- and low-amplitude training with vibration machines in overall healthy adults.

Everyone who participated trained two times a week for a total of six weeks. Each session asked participants to spend 10 minutes on the platform. Standing in a partial squat position, the research found that both types of settings lead to an increase in muscle mass. However, neither group of participants lost any fat.

Workout Using Weights

Doing resistance exercises such as lifting weights offers the easiest way to gain muscle mass. These types of workouts are both safe and effective. However, you should hire a trainer or personal coach so you’re not only doing exercises properly but allowing them to catch any condition they feel should be referred to a doctor.

You need to make sure you eat a balanced breakfast before you do any exercising. Research has shown that skipping breakfast can hurt any weightlifting routine. Make sure you eat a high-carb meal to ensure you get the most out of your gym session.

Get Enough ZZZ’s

Those who are focused on building muscles only pay attention to what they eat and how much exercise they are doing. However, sleep is often overlooked and is a huge advantage to building muscle.

With all the heavy exercising you’re probably doing, you need to rest and give your muscles and body a chance to recover. You’ll also be giving the rest of your body systems the chance to achieve increased balance with more sleep. It’s recommended that you get about 7 hours of sleep each night.

While you’re sleeping, your body can repair muscles while recharging your energy levels for what you have in store the next day.

Drink Water!

This is something that you should do anyway, but it’s important to increase your water intake. What’s more, drinking hydrotonics is far different than drinking actual water. While hydrotonics are a good choice for replacing salts and essential electrolytes. Staying hydrated calls for specific amounts for consumption for each person. You should always talk to a professional if you are looking to build muscle without any type of protein supplement.

Supplements have been the go-to solution for people looking to gain muscles for many years. Now that there is more information available it’s easier to learn how to gain muscle without turning to supplements and powders that deliver fake promises and results.